National

Dastyari recalls post-resignation darkness

By AAP Newswire

Former Labor senator Sam Dastyari contemplated suicide and did not leave his bedroom for six days after quitting federal parliament in disgrace.

The fallen NSW Labor star says after initially feeling relief when he resigned in December over a scandal involving his links to Chinese business figures, he experienced a period of depression.

"I spent six days where I didn't leave my bedroom," he told News Corp in an interview published on Sunday.

"There were certainly nights where your logic goes so out the door, that you suddenly start thinking things like: Well, the people who love me would be better off if I wasn't here anymore."

Mr Dastyari partied hard after being prescribed antidepressants, hitting the booze until reaching a breaking point.

"It was 3am, I'm at the casino -- because it's Sydney and everything else is closed -- and I'm drinking heavily for like the third or fourth night in a row and I go: Something's gotta change."

The former senator ate nothing and drank only water for 15 days afterwards, feeling the worst he ever had in his first three days of withdrawal.

He has since reached a stage of acceptance but has not forgiven himself for the mistakes that led to his downfall.

"I'm not there," he said.

Mr Dastyari said he hadn't thought twice about asking a Chinese company to pay $1670.82 worth of his travel expenses.

He believes his mistake was behaving in parliament the same way he had as general secretary of NSW Labor.

"That meant managing relationships with party donors. And that was an incredibly stupid thing to be doing," he said.

"I shouldn't have been the party bagman when I was a serving Australian senator."

Lifeline 13 11 14